January 04
05:00 2018

‘We, the people’ should mean citizens who hold elected officials accountable

To the Editor:

As the new year dawns on the shores of America and specifically the city of the arts and innovation, I am encouraged by the continuous struggle to build a city on a hill where “we the people, in order to form a more perfect union” govern our policies of government.

In spite of our varied philosophies on the role of government, the principle of “we, the people” is the foundation that every citizen inherits in a democratic society. Historical context is significant for 2018.

The local governments of city and county have attempted to continue to build on this principle: the new library downtown, the unanimous vote to finally build a new courthouse downtown and the unanimous vote to name the Department of Social Service building on Highland Ave. in honor of the late Commissioner Walter Marshall, the ongoing effort by the city to distribute the recent bond monies to enhance the quality of life in both East Winston and other areas of the city, the honor given to Dr. Virginia Newell on her 100th birthday for her decades of building a more perfect union.

The real challenge rests on the shoulders of the citizens to continue to demand and hold accountable all elected officials to cast their votes to build a more perfect union locally.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

What are we going to do as our shared responsibility to build a more inclusive society locally? What are we going to do in 2018, to “form a more perfect union”?

Happy New Year.

Fleming El-Amin


Note: Fleming El-Amin is a Forsyth County commissioner.

Watch out for meth use as well as opioid use

To the Editor:

Across most of the U.S., states are struggling to quell a worsening opiate epidemic. While this is happening, one problem continues to rage on in states across the country. 

NBC News reported on meth with some shocking results. Not only is meth – also known as ice, crank, speed, chalk and gak – the highly addictive and damaging drug, it is still a huge problem throughout the U.S. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, in 2015 meth offenders made up the highest proportion of federal drug offenders in 27 states. 

Meth has some of the most serious physical ramifications out of any drug. The damage can be lasting as well with the body of a meth addict still damaged even after methamphetamine rehabilitation. Some signs of meth abuse include:  lack of sleep, loss of weight, tooth decay, hyperactivity and hallucinations.

Methamphetamines don’t only take a toll on those who use them, but they have nasty effects on communities as well. When a house is used to create meth or even someone just uses meth in the house, long-term damage can be created in that house presenting health risks for any later inhabitants. This is because when meth is created or used, the drug releases dangerous chemicals, which embed themselvesin carpet.

For now, it is unclear what long-term exposure is created for those living in meth-contaminated houses. 

There are things anyone can do to protect those they care about. If you witness a house you believe to be a meth lab or where meth is being used, you should contact law enforcement. In addition, if you move into a house and notice your loved ones starting to show exposure symptoms, you can have your house tested for a relatively small fee.

Kurt Krieger

Narconon New Life Retreat

Denham Springs, Louisiana

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